Tamil Nadu IPS Officer Suspended After Charges of Alleged Custodial Torture

Victims say. an IPS officer 'pulled out their teeth with pliers and injured private parts.'

Hindi Female

Shocking allegations of custodial torture were levelled by a group of men from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, following which the Director general of police (DGP) took action against the IPS officer, Balveer Singh. In TN Assembly, Chief Minister MK Stalin announced on 29 March that the officer has been placed under suspension.

The 10 men who faced the alleged custodial torture were previously arrested for offences such as clashing over a love affair, money lending, breaking CCTV cameras, and a marital dispute, The New Indian Express reported.

What happened in Tirunelveli? The Assistant Superintendent of Police Balveer Singh at the Ambasamudram police division in the Tirunelveli district has been accused of breaking teeth and crushing testicles of two persons after they were called for interrogation on the charge of attempted murder on 23 March.

Chellappa, one of the victims, in a purported video shared online said that the ASP locked them in a room and tied their hands with the help of other police personnel. He then stated that the ASP allegedly put on gloves, knocked out their teeth with stones, and pulled them out with cutting pliers.

"He (Singh) also put stones in our mouths and beat us hard on our cheeks. The stones tore into the lip and resulted in bleeding. Even then, he did not let us go. He told us to strip to our underwear and beat us severely. They abused my two younger brothers by stomping on their private parts."
Chellappa, Victim of Alleged Custodial Torture

He added: “When he started beating my brother Mariappan, we begged him not to as he is newly married. But once we said that, he crushed my brother’s testicles with his left hand and kicked him on his chest.”

Victims say. an IPS officer 'pulled out their teeth with pliers and injured private parts.'

Stills of Victims who claimed custodial torture in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu.

(Photo: ETV Bharat)

Tirunelveli Superintendent of Police P Saravanan told The Hindu that they learned about this allegation through social media on Saturday, 25 March. "Considering the nature of the allegation, the issue has been referred to the District Magistrate under Section 151 of the Police Standing Order," he added.

Speaking to The News Minute, Advocate Maharajan of Nethaji Subash Sena said he lodged a complaint with the concerned officials after gathering evidence and speaking to the victims. “The victims of police torture are scared of repercussions. We are also planning to approach the Madras High Court seeking direction for a detailed inquiry,” he said.

Sena said that according to the complainants, the ASP might have removed teeth of at least 40 people in Ambasamudram and loves to resort to custodial torture, ETV Bharat reported.

The accused IPS officer, Singh is a 2020-batch Indian Police Service officer with a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He was posted to Ambasamudram division as an assistant superintendent of police on 15 October, The Times of India reported.

After the allegations of custodial torture surfaced, the Tamil Nadu government reportedly transferred Balveer Singh IPS from his post and has been put on a compulsory waiting list. The move came after Tirunelveli Collector KP Karthikeyan ordered an enquiry by revenue officials.

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